The Circle brings social media and online interactions to the big screen. Netflix brings the popularity contest to the next level with a $100,000 grand prize.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Calling all drama TV and reality show lovers: The Circle is back and is thrilling as ever! This social experiment turned game show has become a hit and is quickly climbing Netflix’s Top 10 list. Group chats, catfishes, and challenges, what’s not to love about The Circle? This game tests the group’s abilities in establishing their online presence, and the most favored player at the end receives $100,000. That’s a huge prize for just trying to make new friends! The name of the game is pretty simple: make sure everyone likes you so they don’t vote you out, but the strategic side of the game brings the show’s drama to life.
The format of the game is fresh and unique. To enter The Circle, players are free to be whoever they want to be. They can play as themselves or catfish as a strategic move. Their profiles include information such as their hometown, relationship status, biography, and photo album. It is all up to the contestants on how they want to present themselves and what characteristics they think will be the most favored. The only way players can interact with one another is through the chat. They can create private or group chats to form alliances and snoop around for information about what is happening in “the circle,” but they have to be on high alert at all times. One slip-up can cost them the game. At the end of an episode, players are asked to rate each other. The top two players become influencers and get to choose who to “block,” or vote out from the show.
Throughout the show, players are cut off from civilization and have to isolate themselves in their very well-furnished apartments. Players do not have access to their phones or the internet during their stay in “the circle.” Activities like puzzles and coloring books are distributed, but their form of entertainment is mostly just chatting. But never being able to see or hear your opponents makes the drama that much more suspenseful. Important factors like voice tone and facial expression are lost. A message can be sent with good intentions but be received negatively because of miscommunication. Commentary from the players during chats and challenges also make the show entertaining. Although they are constantly alone, each player narrates their every move and thought for viewers to hear. These moments keep viewers invested as they watch their favorite players finesse or fool their opponents.
Although this show is just for fun, the premise of the game sums up the reality of social media. The players cater their profiles and chats to their peers to become the most liked in the group. Many of these same habits are evident in real life like choosing the perfect profile picture and the way we chat with others. Some even go the extra mile by catfishing and creating a disguise for themselves online. It's ironic to watch a game show based on online communication and self-isolation while being in a global pandemic. Online chats and direct messages have become an essential way of meeting and interacting with new people within the last year. Seeing how players navigate the game can influence viewers to reflect on their own approach to social media.
Season 2 of The Circle is now completely updated with thirteen episodes up for viewing. This season features the quirky and comedic Michelle Buteau and a guest appearance from Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye. The personalities in this group range from celebrity assistants to coffee shop baristas, and even an experienced game show player, Chloe Veitch from Too Hot to Handle. If you need a show to pass the time, give this one a shot. It's light-hearted with amusing drama and a sprinkle of funny, cringey moments.
By Remy Zerber
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate all mothers. Mother’s Day is a chance for children to appreciate all the hard work their moms do, but it is going to be a little different this year because of the pandemic. Fathers can help their children plan a special day for their mom. Before COVID, multiple families could get together and have brunch together. Now that everyone has to be careful of the virus, it is not possible to celebrate in the normal way. Luckily, it is still possible to celebrate in a Covid-friendly way by giving gifts and protecting yourself so you can do it properly.
Even though we are in a pandemic, we can still celebrate Mother’s Day in a Covid-friendly way. One activity that kids can do for their mom is to serve her breakfast in bed. Breakfast in bed is always appreciated because then moms can sleep in while the kids make breakfast with their father’s help. This is a good activity for Mother’s Day in 2021 because it does not require leaving the house. Another good activity is having a Mother’s Day picnic outside. This is a good idea because Mother’s Day is in May, which means it is usually warm out, and the CDC recommends that people sit outside and eat so there is proper ventilation. Masks will still need to be worn. People can still go out to brunch for Mother’s Day but they will have to wear a mask. There are many safe ways to celebrate during the pandemic.
One of the other best parts of Mother’s Day is giving gifts to show your appreciation for your mom. Flowers are a classic gift to give on Mother’s Day. Mothers love flowers so this is a great gift idea. Another great gift idea is new clothes. This is a great idea for moms who love fashion. If you don’t have a lot of money, a free gift idea could be having everyone in the family write out a card and make coupons for chores. That way, the mother can redeem a coupon every time she wants someone to do a chore. Gift giving is still possible during the pandemic because it does not require going to a store or mall. People can just buy the gifts they want online and they will be delivered to your doorstep.
Even though COVID-19 is still a major problem in the world, there are things people can do to protect themselves against the virus so they can be more active on Mother’s Day. Every state has different COVID restrictions. People should listen to the restrictions in the state or county that they live in when making their plans for Mother’s Day. For example, in Shasta county, the risk of the virus is still pretty substantial, so only some non-essential indoor businesses like restaurants are open. In San Mateo county the virus is moderately severe so some businesses are open with modifications like wearing a mask and outdoor seating only.
It is still possible to celebrate Mother’s Day under the circumstances. Mother’s Day celebrates all the hard work mothers do for their families; however, this year will be celebrated differently because of the coronavirus pandemic. Although it is sad that families can’t celebrate like they always do, they should be happy that they can still celebrate in a Covid-friendly way. Celebrating Mother’s Day is about the spirit of appreciating and honoring the work that mothers do. It is not about superficial things like gifts and spending money. The spirit of Mother’s Day is possible to achieve no matter what is happening in the world. As long as families are together that is all that matters.
History Department creates virtual webpage for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month showcasing the journey of this community through United States’ history and celebrating their culture.
By Victoria Vidales
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is a time to celebrate and honor the beautiful cultures of Asian and Pacific American communities. Throughout this month Saint Mary’s will be hosting several informative and educational events to alert the college community to issues that directly affect Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. During the past year AAPI communities have been severely racially attacked mainly due to ignorance regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these attacks are startling to the modern public, from a historical perspective the recent spike in racism directed towards AAPI communities is not a new occurrence. Instead, these acts are a part of a repeated sequence in a larger history of discrimination that directly targeted AAPI communities.
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have been the victims of racial discrimination since at least the 18th century. The earliest documented racial legislation was in 1790 when the U.S. government imposed a statute that prevented immigrants who were not white from becoming U.S. citizens. This direct attack against AAPI and other people of color set a pattern for continued racially motivated legislation.
The passage of the Page Act in 1875 specifically targeted Chinese immigrants by prohibiting immigration of individuals that the government believed were entering for “immoral purposes.” This law was joined by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prevented immigration and citizenship for Chinese people, and the 1907 Gentleman’s Agreement, which excluded Japanese workers from immigrating to the U.S. Over time, the federal rulings only become more extreme, with the government passing the 1924 Immigration Act, which banned Japanese immigrants, and the infamous 1942 Executive Order 9066, which gave the order to intern Japanese Americans. These legislations are only a few examples of the many federal mandates that the U.S. government created in order to oppress AAPI people.
Although not confined to California, the recent spike in anti-Asian violence in California adds to a long history of state-wide discriminatory legislation and violence directed towards AAPI communities. Throughout the 19th century the California state government passed many forms of legislation that discriminated against AAPI and allowed for anti-Asian violence to occur without penalties.
In 1877 the anti-Asian San Francisco riots caused the destruction of numerous businesses and the death of four Chinese Americans. That same year several Chinese workers were murdered in Chico at Lemm Ranch by six white men. In 1906 Santa Ana’s Chinatown was burned to the ground by firefighters when it was deemed to be a “health hazard.” These are just a few examples of the horrific treatment that AAPI communities faced at the hands of their fellow Californians.
Saint Mary’s History Department has composed a timeline of legislation and known violence and hate crimes inflicted onto the AAPI community over the course of U.S. history to show how severely impacted the AAPI community has been by violence and racism. The History Department encourages all members of the Saint Mary’s community to attend events held throughout APAHM to learn and show support for the AAPI community and to contribute to the timeline to expand its usefulness as a resource for our community.
To explore the History Department’s page honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month please follow the link below.
Watch out Newsom, Caitlyn Jenner announces her candidacy for governor, stating that “California is worth fighting for.”
By Isabelle Delostrinos
After overcoming one of the most controversial presidential terms in history, a smaller pot of politics is being stirred up again. Former Olympian and reality TV show star, Caitlyn Jenner, announced her run for governor of California. Over a year since the pandemic was announced, a large number of Californians are looking to push Newsom out of office. The celebrity is grasping the opportunity that many other prospects have with Gavin Newsom’s recall, in hopes to get California back on the right track as the pandemic alleviates later this year.
Caitlyn Jenner has become an advocate and voice for the LGBTQ+ community. As an Olympian and well established celebrity, first known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner is applauded for the courage and bravery it took to reveal her true self in the spotlight. Jenner first announced her gender identity to the world in April of 2015. Since then, she has been recognized for her strength by receiving awards such as the Arthur Ashe courage award at the ESPYs and Transgender Champion at Glamour’s Women of the Year ceremony. Jenner became an important figure, sharing her story to represent LGBTQ+ individuals in an industry that rarely shines their light on this community.
It is surprising to see Jenner interested in replacing Gavin Newsom, but let's look back on Newsom’s career and how he has served the state of California. Newsom won the general election for governor in 2006. Prior to this position, he was elected as mayor of San Francisco in 2003. Newsom is part of the Democratic party and has played a role in many state advances through the years. For example, he signed off a bill that extended family leave from six to eight weeks, allowing more time for a family to take care of newborn children without compromising their jobs. He also signed a bill on rent control, capping the percentage that landlords can increase their rent by. Newsom’s efforts throughout his career are in respect to his state and the people who populate it.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has put Newsom in a sticky situation. Many Californians have disagreed with the way Newsom has handled the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. California was the first state to enforce these orders and shut down many businesses during the first few months of the pandemic. Small businesses received the short end of the stick with little to no financial support to cover their losses. Unemployment rates skyrocketed due to the phased reopening that was created by Newsom and his team. In November of 2020, he was caught unmasked while indoor dining at a restaurant with more than 10 people, the kind of scenario he discouraged during his weekly COVID-19 updates.
Newsom was looking forward to continuing his career as governor throughout 2022, but many have been pushed over the edge by his actions this past year. A petition of over 1.6 million signatures was submitted for the recall of Newsom. The state has not yet approved of the re-election. If they do, an election would be held this fall asking voters if Newsom should continue his position as governor. If a voter chooses no, a list of candidates would be provided for the voter to choose who the new governor should be.
Caitlyn Jenner is taking hold of this opportunity alongside many other established politicians, but it is surprising to see her interest in a political industry. It was found that Jenner has only voted a handful of times in her life, not even casting her vote for the controversial 2016 election that started Trump’s career as president. Her experience with politics and decision making for a population is questionable, and it would be interesting to see her efforts progress as we approach the fall.
By Maia Pagán
Why a list of the Top Ten presidents? Why not? Presidents come and go every four, maybe every eight years. The rating of Presidents is a reflection of the current societal perceptions, positive or negative. This rating is a snapshot of people surveyed randomly and their thoughts. Read on for some interesting, surprising, and intriguing insights.
The top 10 most popular Presidents of the United States rated from least to most favorite.
10. James Buchanan- James Buchanan is number ten on our list because he is known as one of the worst Presidents. Many believe he was overly sympathetic to Southern interests, such as being “ok” with slavery. He was the President right before Abraham Lincoln, so he seemed incompetent to do his job as President.
9. Andrew Johnson- Andrew Johnson is number nine on our list because he is best known for assuming the Presidency after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
8. Franklin Pierce- Franklin Pierce is number eight on our list because he believed in enslavement. Why? Some of his policies may have helped push the United States into Civil War.
7. Barack Obama- Barack Obama is number seven on our list because he is most notably known for being the first Black President of the United States. He set a precedent for more people of color to work in higher-level positions in the USA Government.
6. Jimmy Carter-Jimmy Carter is number six on our list because he had no scandals, stood up to the KKK, and his historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt called “The Camp David Accords.”
5. John F. Kennedy- John F. Kennedy is number five on our list because he is most known for being the youngest elected President of the United States. He is also the only President to receive a purple heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II and create new Civil Rights Legislation, which included banning segregation. John F. Kennedy is also known for his assassination, where he was shot in the back of his head during a motorcade at Dealey Plaza in Texas.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt- Franklin D. Roosevelt is number four on our list because he is known for help creating favorable policies, like Social Security and Medicare.
3. Theodore Roosevelt- Theodore Roosevelt or Teddy Roosevelt is number three on our list because many people know him for helping create the National Parks.
2. George Washington-George Washington is number two because he is the first President of the United States and a Founding Father.
1. Abraham Lincoln-Abraham Lincoln is number one on our list because he is the most talked-about President. In the United States schools, he has helped free the slaves and be assassinated at Ford’s theatre by being shot in the head.
That’s it! Agree or disagree, it is the democratic thing to do!
Hollywood’s lack of diversity within executive, leadership positions in dominating media and production companies.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The public has been holding the entertainment industry accountable for diversity and inclusivity within the last decade. The fight to bring more people of color on the big screen has resulted in some of the best films and top grossing movies. Black Panther was the best selling movie of 2018. The film featured a predominantly Black cast and crew, and even a Black director from our very own city of Oakland. Its storyline about a Black superhero and technologically advanced country that was powerful and was loved by many. History was made with Black Panther and raises the standards for the rest of the industry to tell inclusive stories in cinema.
Disney and Marvel have continued to expand their movie casts and crews with people of color. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse was based on the life of Miles Morales, a Black teenager in New York adjusting to his new life with spidey powers. Universal Studios distributed Jordan Peele’s Us, which featured a Black family escaping their frightening doubles. This is one of the few horror movies to feature a Black writer and director along with a Black family as the main characters. Stories created by people of color have broken the stereotypical roles minority groups are automatically placed in. The progress that the industry has made is important, and it shows through the successes of these movies.
Amidst the 2020 protests, many companies came forward to publicly state their solidarity with the BLM movement. They joined the movement to Black out Instagram by posting a solid black square and also tweeted statements to demonstrate their alliance. Disney stated “We stand against racism. We stand for inclusion. We stand with our fellow black employees, storytellers, creators and the entire black community. We must unite and speak out.” In a world with the internet and rapid information sharing, the public holds these companies accountable for their responses to current events. These actions reassure consumers that they are supporting people who share the same beliefs as them. But how much longer will Twitter statements be the acceptable action from these companies?
Despite the growing library of movies with a diverse cast and inclusive storyline, on screen representation isn’t the only thing the public is looking for. More people are bringing attention to the lack of diversity in higher level executive positions within the dominating entertainment companies. To stand with people of color means to also provide these groups with equal opportunity to be at these positions. Having people of color as high level decision makers and executives would help overturn the saturated industry. Allowing these fresh minds and different perspectives into these high power groups would be a breakthrough for the entertainment industry. The minority voice would be heard and power the change that entertainment needs.
Projects like Black Panther, Into the Spiderverse and Crazy Rich Asians have been well received by the public. Works by people of color are consistently successful and larger companies should recognize the talent these groups have to offer. Putting people of color in these power positions will only advance the company and appeal to a wider, diverse audience. We cannot deny the progress our generation has made with representation, but should keep pushing the issue to be diverse in all aspects of the industry. Statements of solidarity act only as reassurance, and cannot be the solution for so long. When these large, dominant companies include people of color into their executive positions, other industries would be influenced to do the same.
The new Evanescence album, “The Bitter Truth,” was released March 2021 and continues to rock the music scene. The lead singer, Amy Lee, tells her truth and owns her voice with Evanescence's brand new album. Amy Lee rises from the Pandemic with an amazing creation with the reminder that music heals.
By Maia Pagan
The rock band Evanescence is back and better than ever. The band came out with a new album in late March titled “The Bitter Truth,” which came as a big shock to many fans because they had not released any new music since their 2017 album titled “Synthesis.” The album “Synthesis” strayed away from their classic rocker sound with a more dramatic and artsy sound and brighter album cover. In contrast, the new album, “The Bitter Truth” brought them back to the gritty and angsty sound many fans cherish. The album cover fits the dark and cold tones used in past album covers.
Evanescence became famous after their 2003 release of “Bring Me to Life” on their album “Fallen.” Many people were captivated by Amy Lee's powerful vocals backed with heavy guitar and drums. I was a little apprehensive about listening to Evanescence's new album because I prefer their classic rock sound. I have enormous respect for bands changing their music style, but I was pleasantly surprised by their new album. The new album is only forty-seven minutes long, with twelve songs.
The song “Use My Voice” starts off slow with piano then quickly speeds up to the headbanging sound of guitar and drums. The music reflects the world through the eyes of a woman. In a world meant to shut her down, she refuses and always uses her voice. The combination of the powerful lyrics, Lee's voice, and the guitar and drums will be an anthem for women everywhere who chose never to forget their voice.
The band Evanescence, specifically the lead singer, Amy Lee, has always been my favorite because it is challenging to be a woman in the Rock genre, a genre dominated by men and loaded with constant sexism. Evanescence produces good music while fighting through barriers while redeeming freedom of success in the unforgiving music industry. This is not an easy task, but with this new album, Evanescence exceeds my expectations.
Every song on this album is a powerful rock ballad that showcases the best parts of Evanescence sound. One of my favorite songs from the album called “Take Cover” immediately starts strong with the classic rock sound of loud vocals and loud music to back it. This song gives you the classic headbanging vibes while simultaneously wanting to scream along. The song “The Game is Over” continues with Evanescence's focus on finding yourself in a world that doesn't let people be their authentic selves. The lyrics “change me into something I believe in, change me,
so I don't have to pretend” play into the idea that we live in a society that is often fake, and people have to change to fit the mold.
Evanescence has always pushed that message to believe in yourself, regardless of the resistance. The last song, titled “Blind Belief,” begins with a quiet creepy horror movie piano sound and then quickly cuts into silence to switch back to loud screaming vocals.
Evanescence's new album has wowed me with their brand new music while holding the memories of their 2003 album. They are providing new memorable songs with edgy lyrics. Evanescence's new album titled “The Bitter Truth” is the band back in full swing, and I can't wait to see what they produce in the future.
Taylor Swift not only reignites the nostalgic music of our teenage years, but brings awareness to the challenges many artists face in the industry.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The re-release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) isn’t as simple as you think it is. If you aren’t already a Swiftie, then you most likely don’t know about the drama that went down in November of last year. Here’s my attempt at summarizing what happened to catch you up to speed.
Taylor Swift first released Fearless at the age of 18 in 2009. As she was touring around the country for the promotion of her first album, Taylor Swift, she created this second hit album while being on the road. With more time spent on the road, Swift was unable to collaborate and work on Fearless with other artists. She led the songwriting process for all thirteen songs and even made her debut as co-producer.
Fearless is one of the strongest bodies of work that Swift has put out. It quickly became the best selling album in the US, making Swift the youngest artist in history to accomplish the standard. It also became the most decorated album in country music history, winning awards from the Grammys, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards and many more. Hit songs like You Belong With Me, Love Story, Fifteen and White Horse also from this release. This album contributed to popular culture in many ways. Fearless broke the boundaries between country and pop, and Swift flawlessly merged the two genres together. So many years after it’s time, Swift should be the one holding the rights to her early work.
Unfortunately, the music industry has always had a bad history of taking advantage of artists. From The Beatles to Prince to Iggy Azalea and many more, these artists struggled to earn the profits they deserved, let alone have control over what they created. Prince protested his Warner Bros. contract by performing onstage with the word “slave” written on cheek. Lil Kim was restricted from making and releasing music during her court battle with her record label. The court case dragged out for a year and half, which kept fans waiting with no explanation and Lil Kim’s inability to make money the entire time. Pop artist, Jojo, struggled to break free from a record label that signed her at twelve years old. As of 2017, the artist finally was released and created her own music label where she remastered her hits from the early 2000s.
The challenges that artists face are not talked about enough. By reclaiming her music, Taylor Swift brings awareness to the unfair business contracts that many artists struggle with. The re-release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) gives Swift the ownership she deserves from her work. Now, Swift has the power over all of the songs on Fearless (Taylor’s Version) to be used in movies, TV shows, as a sample or anything she wishes to do with it. She also receives the maximum amount of profits from it. So if you’re ever in the mood for a Taylor Swift throwback moment, make sure it’s Taylor’s version.
Almost a year after Vanessa Guillén’s murder she deserves to be remembered.
By Victoria Vidales
One year ago on this coming Thursday, 20 year old Vanessa Guillén vanished without a trace. A U.S Army soldier stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, Guillén’s disappearance and subsquent murder challenged how the US military handles complaints of sexual harrassment, and how the race of victims influences how law enforcement handles missing persons cases. Even a year later Guillén’s spirit lives on as her life and journey inspire others to enact change to prevent her fate from repeating through others. Guillén deserves to be remembered as she was: a devoted daughter and soldier who deserved to live.
According to reports by ABC News, Guillén was murdered on the afternoon she went missing by Specialist Aaron David Robinson. In the months leading up to her murder Guillén had previously confided in her mother that she was repeatedly being sexually harassed by a superior at Fort Hood. She also mentioned that numerous other female soldiers were also being sexually harassed by this individual, yet reports had not achieved a disciplinary response from military personal.
Guillén was officially reported missing the day after she disappeared on April 23; her family immediately suspected foul play. In the months that followed mass search efforts took place to find Guillén. Following interviews from other soldiers, military law enforcement zeroed in on Robinson hoping to uncover his involvement in Guillén’s disappearance. Guillén’s remains were discovered on June 30 near the Leon River and were confirmed to be her’s on July 5. On July 1 Robinson killed himself after being pursued by authorities.
During Guillén’s disappearance her family and the public began to question the Army’s quality of investigation, citing the initial lack of urgency regarding Guillén’s disappearance, and the continued secrecy during the investigation. From the beginning of the investigation Guillén’s family was critical of the US Army’s handling of the case, claiming that they were not being regularly informed of updates or the direction of the investigation. The public was not regularly informed either and a mass demonstration took place on June 13 at Fort Hood made of members of the public concerned for Guillén’s safety.
No one deserves the ongoing abuse that Guillén was subjected to or the kind of brutality that she suffered before her death. Her murder was inhumane and shockingly evil at the hands of another person. Guillén had a family who loved and cherished who she was and were excited to see the person that she would become. Her family repeatedly mentioned her desire to marry her longtime boyfriend and begin a family of her own. Neither of those events will ever happen for Guillén as her life, and everything that life includes, was taken on another’s terms.
Her murder also highlights a desperate need for transformations within the military for soldiers to safely report sexual harrassment and assualt. Before her death, Guillén felt uncomfortable reporting the sexual harassment she was enduring fearing retaliation. All women in the U.S military deserve to be safe and respected by those they serve with. Women are subjected to sexual harassment in all forms of employment and the U.S military is no different. Although the recent #MeToo Movement has helped draw attention and create solidarity amongst victims, sexual harassment continues to be a vile crime that plagues the workforce. Victims need to feel as if they will be heard when they report experiences of workplace abuse and that consequences for the perpetrator, not the victim, will happen.
Guillén’s case did not make national news until sometime after her disappearance. Sometimes when young women are reported missing, particularly young white women, response from media is immediate with national stories within hours. Missing person cases regarding people of color rarely receive the same intense national media attention, which they must. For Guillén, a Latina of Mexican descent, her race may have played a role into how serious the report was taken by the media. Regardless of race, when a person goes missing immediate attention should be given by the media to help with the safe return of a victim. Although Guillén was already dead by the time she was noticed to be missing, other victims may not be and can still have a chance for survival.
Vanessa Guillén was a strong and beloved young woman who deserved so much from the world. Her memory will continue to live on through those that loved her and those who never knew her but who felt so impacted by her story. For members of the Latinx community Guillén represents so many of them and those they care about, forever seeing her face in those they know.
Are young people responsible for the spread? Many college students nationwide continue to ignore mask mandates and engage in large social gatherings helping contribute to the spread of COVID-19. This makes the need for young people to be vaccinated more urgent.
By Maia Pagán
Have college students made COVID-19 more spreadable? The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for a little over a year now, and no one was expecting it. Constant hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and social distancing are so common that you think people would be used to it. Yet, COVID-19 is still rapidly spreading around, especially amongst college students. Why you may ask? Because many college students are not taking the global pandemic seriously.
Many college students are still out partying with different friends, not wearing masks, and not socially distancing. News outlets report college students are coming onto campus and continuing to spread COVID-19 to their peers. Florida and many other states experienced a vast spread of the virus during spring break, with hundreds of students being seen on the beach partying, not social distancing, and not wearing their masks.
Everyone wants to go back to normal, not the new normal, but the hug our friends and family, stop wearing masks, and feel more comfortable inside everyday places. But this is becoming less and less possible, especially with schools, specifically colleges, opening up. Some colleges have decided recently to open back up for the remaining of the year to give students a sense of normalcy, especially for those seniors in college who had their senior year taken away from them.
Unfortunately, most of those college campuses had to close down once again because there was a large spread of COVID-19, and most students on campus were infected. Many college sports teams have been allowed to stay on campus and play. They, too, have been infected with the virus and have had to stop playing their sport for a while.
Yet, colleges are not reporting this, so it gives an inaccurate number to how many other cases are in the area. The repercussions make people think that things are getting better, yet they are continuing the same. Although people are feeling more excited to go back to school in the fall of 2021 because of the new vaccines, there still remains a problem: yes, of course, the vaccine helps, but it is still possible that COVID-19 can be spread with the majority of people opting out. Add the fact that many could be carriers without any symptoms.
The pandemic could lessen with vaccines. My biggest concern as a student is that many courses are hybrid, starting next fall semester, which means that most students have to be on campus. But with trends of past campuses opening up has shown, this decision is not wise, and many students are at risk of getting covid, not just COVID-19, but new variants that are beginning their spread. Keep colleges shut down again and stop the spread.
Although we are in the orange tier now, this does not mean that that won't change. Summer is around the corner, and students will do what they have continued to do: during vacation, they will see everyone, travel, and not wear their masks. Now, even more so, it is becoming more of a danger because many people are faking getting vaccines. Many college campuses are starting to let more off-campus students come on to campus but is this a mistake?
Although most college campuses are trying to be as safe as possible and take precaution, there is no guarantee that there will not be an outbreak of COVID-19 in the upcoming semesters. Colleges seem optimistic about re-opening, but it’s the human factor of personal sanity that keeps covid a revolving door.
Want to get rid of COVID entirely? Besides getting the vaccine, continue to wear your mask, always use hand sanitizer, don't share your food or drinks, and continue to social distance is the science. If things get terrible over the summer, we should go into a complete shutdown again. New Zealand, which is now completely open and covid-free, did shut down and reopen with stricter rules to open up again. Life will go back to normal, but a new normal will not happen if people continue to ignore the rules and put other lives in danger. Please remember that millions of people have died during the covid pandemic and if we all take precautions and are safe during this time, even if things are getting better, just know you are potentially saving a life.
Victoria Vidales '21,